The Public Schools' Fencing Championships is the biggest competition of its kind in the UK, with over 1300 fencers competing in the various categories over the course of three days. This was the club's second year of competition at the tournament, and this year we were hoping to better our previous year's results, with our largest-ever team attending.
We started the first day with the Mount-Haes Epée, where Alex Cha achieved a very credible 47th place out of nearly 100 entrants, unfortunately meeting a very tough opponent in the last 64. William Bao unfortunately ran into trouble in his poule and did not make the second round. Hugo Halford-Harrison then competeted in the Senior Foil, where he had a strong second set of poules, winning three of his matches against a tough field of competition. However, in the Junior Epée, against a tough field including many international fencers, Felix Rawlinson delivered a very strong performance, finishing 32nd, convincingly beating the 17th seed in the last 64 with a score of 15-8. However in the last 32 he faced an extremely difficult match against a Bulgarian international fencer, whose experience unfortunately prevailed.
We returned on the second day for the Mount-Haes Foil, in which Radley was represented by Eugene Chow and Rupert Halford-Harrison. Eugene did not make it out of a very difficult poule, but Rupert finished 46thafter a strong set of poules. In the Junior Foil, Radley had several entries, with Jamie Batchelor and Andrew Shaw jointly finishing 101st, Peter Stern finishing 99th, while Felix Rawlinson came 35th, considerably improving on last year's performance. However, Christoph Wallendahl performed very well, finishing 9th, after being seeded fourth after the poules. He easily passed through the last 32 and last 64, beating his opponents 15-2 and 15-3, and then he faced an interesting last 16 bout. Having had a bad start, with his deficit reaching 13-3 by the end of the second period, he made a huge comeback, scoring ten consecutive hits to take the score to 13-13. With seconds left on the clock he went for an attack and missed, allowing his opponent a point that, with two seconds remaining, he could not hope to make back.
Overall, it was a successful competition for the club, with a greater number of fencers than before, with all of those who competed last year bettering their previous year's results. There were also some strong results, particularly Christoph Wallendahl's top ten finish. However, the other members of the club showed a great deal of potential, with many members making rapid improvements. Pick of the bunch was Felix Rawlinson, who has only been fencing for a year but who performed very well in an extremely competitive field. He finished very highly in both the Foil and Epée, both of which are extremely competitive and filled with international fencers. We will definitely be returning next year, hungry for more!